I am going to come clean and talk about some things that I have never really said before to my sober family. Here goes…
A few years ago, I deliberately took a step back from working on Sober Nation. I felt like all I was talking about and thinking about was recovery. I was getting tired of listening to the same old stories. I was getting bombarded with emails from people who wanted to talk to me and relate to me.
I fell into the trap and I needed to take a step back.
So I took an overseer position because I figured that is what I needed to do if I wanted to grow the website. If I could find people to do the daily tasks then I could focus more on the site as a whole.
And it worked. I think I made the right choice. The site gained more and more exposure and I learned how to run things from a managerial standpoint.
But I lost something as well.
The Search for Connection
When I first started doing this, I would write because it helped me express all the craziness that was going on in my head. I finally found this avenue in which I could talk about the questions I had and I could express how confused I was by the world around me.
People started responding. More importantly, people started saying things like “hey, I feel that way too.”
I found it! I found the connection that I was searching for. It was amazing. That period in my life was very special to me. I didn’t have any concerns for marketing or click through rates or finding other people to work with. I was just writing and relating to people. It gave me something that I never had before.
But inevitably, I started taking things more seriously. I started looking for ways that I could improve. I wanted more and so that’s what I got.
Dealing with Burnout
This is the real part that I have always felt a little embarrassed to talk about.
Over time, I starting getting really tired of talking about recovery. It was everywhere. Not only did I have to manage my own recovery, but I had to be immersed in recovery all day for the website. Even when I was trying to just zone out, I was always getting emails from people who wanted to tell me their story about recovery.
I was having this strange identity crisis where I felt like I was being labeled as some kind of sober celebrity. In fact, someone actually called me a “sober celebrity” and I’m pretty sure that was the exact moment I said to myself that I didn’t want to do it anymore.
So I stopped.
I stopped writing about my sobriety. I stopped sharing my story. I stopped listening to other people. If I am being completely honest, I started rolling my eyes at people who wanted to talk about how great their new sober lives were.
I would make jokes about people who were “super sober.”
That’s the truth. I’m embarrassed to say it, but that’s what was going on in my head. Hense the reason why I stepped back.
I can’t tell you exactly when it happened. I think it was a slow transition.
A few months ago I read a book called “The War of Art.” This book had a huge impact on me. I decided that I wanted to write every day. I wanted to get back to perfecting my craft. So I started blogging every single day in my personal blog.
But the funny thing is, a lot of times I found myself blogging about recovery. I was sub consciously writing about lessons that I learned in sobriety. I was writing about spirituality and love and kindness and positive living.
So this last weekend it was raining. I was lying in bed with my fiance. I was looking out the window and watching the branches blow in the breeze. It just came over me. Somehow my mind said “you need to start sharing your experience again.”
The more and more I do this, the more I see people who are in pain. I see people dying from overdoses. I see mothers and sister and fathers who are just ripped apart. I see people who just want to get better. I know that the best way I can help is to share my experience, strength and hope with others.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
Drop me a line
This is me making myself available. You can email me at email@example.com. I am going to publish a weekly video every Tuesday. I am going to be here for people who need to chat. I am going to help people find treatment if they are in pain.
I am not going into this with any expectations. No marketing plan and no structure to increase the reach of the brand. I am going into this as me. I am getting back to why I started this in the first place.
Just me sharing my story with someone else who can relate. That’s the way this works.